NH Politics

Todd Bookman

Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein wants state election officials to rule on whether he meets the residency requirements to hold the office.

Immediately after filing paperwork to officially launch his candidacy against Gov. Maggie Hassan in Concord on Wednesday, Havenstein submitted a petition to the state Ballot Law Commission, asking for an expedited hearing on the residency issue.

On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks about this year's legislative session, which wrapped up last week. 

Lawmakers passed some bills on contentious topics, but failed on others. And some notable names announced they won't seek office again.

The big bills that passed:

Legislative Roundtable: Reflections On 2014

Jun 9, 2014
Rachel James / Flickr/CC

We're sitting down with a panel of House and Senate leaders to look back on the year in the legislature. It was a year of victories for supporters of Medicaid Expansion, but of disappointment for casino backers and death penalty opponents.  And it ended with several major players announcing they’re getting out of the game and retiring from politics. 

GUESTS:

Jimmy Emerson, Flickr CC

New Hampshire lawmakers have passed legislation that includes household pets in orders designed to protect victims of domestic violence.

Wednesday's vote sent the bill to the governor. It expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.

Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.

Brian James via Flickr CC

The House and Senate have voted to tighten rules for table games operated in the name of New Hampshire charities.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday to send the governor a bill establishing new financial record-keeping and reporting requirements for charities and deeper background investigations by the attorney general.

The bill clarifies the definition of so-called redemption slot machines and the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission's enforcement authority over them.

Josh Rogers

As he filed for office, Scott Brown said he was focused on the issues that matter.

“And what matters right now is making sure that people are getting  a good value for their dollars and they are not paying an exorbitant amount of many for their health care, and their medical care, obviously, and their energy prices.”

Todd Bookman / NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on a Medicaid Enhancement Tax deal.

Lawmakers voted 278-72 in favor of the deal that settles a lawsuit with 25 New Hampshire hospitals.

The Senate later passed it on a voice vote, and it now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk.

Hassan and legislative leaders announced the settlement last week, with St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua the lone holdout.

Republican Representative David Hess of Hooksett says he may not be completely happy with the result, but the deal is better than nothing.

New Hampshire candidates competing in the September primary can now sign up to get on the ballot.

The filing period for state, county and federal offices opens Wednesday and ends June 13.

The primaries will be held Sept. 9. The general election is Nov. 4. This year's top contests include the governor's race, a U.S. Senate race and the two U.S. House races.

Gov. Maggie Hassan's office said canceling a planned trade mission to Turkey would cost taxpayers $10,000 and the private businesses that will accompany the governor would lose thousands more.

In a written response to a public-records request by the conservative nonprofit Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, Hassan's chief of staff Pamela Walsh said "non-refundable travel arrangements" had already been paid for when the governor announced a freeze on hiring and out-of-state travel.

Sean Marshall via Flickr CC

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Tuesday that May's revenues were about $3 million below estimates, mostly because $2.6 million the state thought it would get during the month came in April instead.

Hodgdon said May is a small tax collection month and can't be used to pinpoint trends. She said officials will be better able to tell if a trend is developing once tax receipts are in for June, a significant tax collection month.

Josh Rogers

  NHPR's Brady Carlson talks with Boston Globe reporter Todd Wallack.

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Scott Brown has been back on the campaign trail this week, but it's the former Massachusetts Senator's work outside of politics that's now getting a lot of attention.

Gambling Takes Center Stage In Congressional Race

Jun 2, 2014
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Casinos are shaping up to be a key issue in the 2nd Congressional District’s Republican primary.

At competing events Monday, several state representatives from Salem who back expanded gaming publicly endorsed GOP candidate Gary Lambert.

Meanwhile in Concord, anti-casino activists defended fellow Salem Representative Marilinda Garcia’s vote against a plan to legalize two casinos, despite overwhelming public support in her district.

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on changing when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.

The bill is in response to disruptions in home heating oil deliveries this winter by one of New Hampshire's largest fuel companies. The bill prohibits dealers from advertising or soliciting earlier than May 1 for consumers to enter into contracts for the upcoming fuel season. Currently, the contracts can't be offered before Jan. 1.

Consumers could sign contracts before May 1 at their request.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire will seek a waiver from the federal government Friday hoping to get $275 million more in matching funds over five years for health care services provided by the state, county and local governments.

The joint legislative Fiscal Committee approved the waiver application Wednesday.

Jeffrey Meyers, director of intergovernmental affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the federal government is not sharing the cost of about $80 million in annual health care spending in New Hampshire. The waiver asks the federal government to pitch in.

Sara Plourde

It was only a matter of time before Scott Brown’s involvement in a failed energy bill backed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would get the political-ad treatment.

Sure enough, on Thursday, the Senate Majority PAC launched a television spot that cites “news accounts” that Brown lobbied Senate Republicans to block the bill in order to deny Shaheen a legislative victory.

The 30-second ad is scheduled to run until at least June 4 on WMUR, at a cost of $224,000, as well as on some cable stations.

Martina Oefelein via Flickr CC

House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a bill that creates a program to sell "hike safe" cards to hikers that would forgive them for any rescue expenses they'd otherwise owe New Hampshire if they were negligent.

The deal reached Friday still must be approved by the full House and Senate.

Ian Ligget via Flickr CC

Legislative negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on a 10-year highway plan for New Hampshire.

The House and Senate still must vote on Friday's agreement, which is one of two measures aimed at making needed highway improvements. Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a 4-cent increase on the gas and diesel tax into law this week. Tax proceeds will pay $200 million of the $250 million needed to finish expanding Interstate 93 from the Massachusetts border to Manchester.

Brian James via Flickr CC

House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative deal on a bill to tighten rules for table games operated in the name of New Hampshire charities.

The House and Senate still must vote on Friday's deal. The bill establishes new financial record-keeping and reporting requirements for charities and deeper background investigations by the attorney general.

The bill clarifies the definition of so-called redemption slot machines and the Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission's enforcement authority over them.

The Senate is voting for the second time whether to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty, but the loss of a key supporter may doom the bill.

Sen. Bob Odell, who had voted for repeal, says he won't vote to take up the issue again.

The first bill stalled in the Senate on a 12-12 vote last month. The House then passed a second bill repealing capital punishment which the Senate is scheduled to vote on on Thursday.

N.H. GOP Director Testifies In 'Bridgegate' Scandal

May 20, 2014
NHPR Staff

  The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican Party answered questions in New Jersey on Tuesday regarding his role in the George Washington Bridge scandal involving Governor Chris Christie.

Matt Mowers testified before a special committee investigating whether lane closures on the bridge last September were an act of political retribution after the mayor of Fort Lee Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, declined to endorse Christie.

Mowers was a Christie campaign staffer at the time. He denies any involvement.

The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill to include household pets in orders protecting victims of domestic violence. 

The bill expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal. 

The bill passed Thursday on a voice vote without debate. It now goes to the House for review. 

NHPR Staff

House lawmakers are scheduled to vote this week on a bill that would lift a 25-year-old ban on advertising alcohol on billboards in New Hampshire.

Upupa 4me via Flickr CC

The 193-141 vote means the state’s gas tax will rise 4.2 cents, the first increase to the state’s current 18-cent per gallon levy on gasoline and diesel since 1991.

The battle over NH’s gas tax has been pitched in recent years. When Governor John Lynch was in the corner office, he promised to veto any increase to the gas tax.

Last year the democratically- controlled N.H. House passed a 12-cent tax hike that was rejected by the GOP led State Senate.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is giving a talk on leadership at the University of New Hampshire law school.

Giuliani, who served as mayor from 1994 to 2011, will deliver a presentation called "Leadership in the 21st Century" on Tuesday in Concord.

Afterward, Concord Mayor Jim Bouley will present Giuliani with a key to the city.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the fallout from last week's Senate vote on the death penalty repeal.

They also talk about Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's stance on political issues and what's coming up at the Statehouse this week.

New Hampshire State Senate

 

Six-term state Sen. Bob Odell says he will not seek re-election this fall.

Dank Depot via Flickr CC

Now that New Hampshire has a law allowing for the use of medicinal marijuana, it might not surprise you to find advertisements about how people can obtain registration cards for the program.

There’s only one catch: there is no such registration card as of yet, and that raises some serious questions about those advertisements and who’s behind them.

Opponents continue to raise questions about whether a Republican expected to join the race for governor meets the state’s residency requirements.

NHPR Staff

A House panel is holding a hearing on a proposed amendment to New Hampshire's constitution that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The measure passed the Senate unanimously and if three-fifths of the House agrees, it would go before voters in November. The constitution currently prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex and national origin. The amendment would add sexual orientation.

The state already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in statute, but supporters want to enshrine the protection in the constitution.

'Halftime' At The Statehouse

Apr 1, 2014
Rachel Ford James / Flickr/CC

It’s halftime at the New Hampshire Statehouse, with last week’s so-called “crossover day”, where those bills that have passed the House go to the Senate for a vote, and vice versa.  Major issues that remain in play include a gas tax increase, a death penalty repeal, and once again, expanded gambling.  We’re checking the score thus far, and seeing where these bills go from here.

GUESTS:

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